One candidate says his opponent is a career politician who has worn out his welcome in Springfield.
The other says his challenger is a "climber" who keeps jumping from office to office -- with little record to show for it along the way.
On March 20, Republican voters who live within the redrawn 24th Senate District, which comprises parts of Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Lombard and Glen Ellyn, will decide which person they want to send back to Springfield.
Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, a 17-year incumbent who narrowly lost the Republican nomination for governor in 2010, and state Rep. Chris Nybo of Elmhurst, who is serving his first term in the state House, are facing each other in the upcoming Republican primary.
Both participated in a League of Women Voters candidate forum at the Wheaton Community Center on Tuesday.
During the forum, Nybo said he supports a term limit law in which elected officials could only serve a maximum of 12 years each in the state House and Senate. Feasibly, someone could serve a total of 24 years, Nybo said.
"People should not be making careers out of these positions," Nybo said. "We should not have career politicians. We need new energies."
Dillard, Nybo says, has been in office "way too long."
Dillard, 56, said in an interview later that the 34-year-old Nybo is "a young man just seeking office, and doesn't know the work it takes on a day-by-day basis."
"It takes somebody with experience to stand up to Speaker (Michael) Madigan," Dillard said.
He said Nybo doesn't have any serious work credentials since having been elected to the state House in 2010, nor during the time he was on the Elmhurst City Council from 2007 to 2010.
Dillard also suggested that Nybo could've run uncontested in the 46th House District, which comprises parts of Villa Park, Glendale Heights and Addison. Instead, Republicans John Humes and Daniel Kordik entered that race.
"He had a way back to Springfield if he wanted to get back there," Dillard said.
But Nybo said he doesn't live in that district -- he lives in the 47th represented by Rep. Patti Bellock -- and he isn't "going to move for politics."
"(Dillard) calls it, 'My Senate district.' It's not his Senate district," Nybo said. "It's the people's Senate district."
The winner of the Republican primary will then face A. Ghani of Oak Brook, who is running uncontested in the Democratic primary.